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Re: Artistic and LGPL compatibility in jar files

On Dec 17, 2009, at 3:41 AM, MJ Ray wrote:
> This part followed "if it's the book I think it is, then I already
> have read it".  Maybe the contradictions aren't in the part of the
> book linked, but elsewhere in the book read.

Indeed. BTW, I should have interpreted the original phrase as "read
the linked document" rather than "read the book."

I have not found those contradictions, and as I asked in my
earlier response I would like an example.

> Maybe a proper citation instead of a bare URL
> would have helped avoid this confusion.  (Line wraps would help too.)

Since my first post, of which I think you are talking about, also
included the book title and author name, I figured that was
sufficient. Should I have also included publication year and
publishing company? Or do I have to give the proper citation every
time I repeat the same book link in a thread?

I think you're the first person in about 12 years to mention that
linewraps are a problem. I stopped carefully linewrapping when I
started seeing all my nicely wrapped text look ugly once >quoted a few
times and displayed on systems which had automatic wrapping. I
thought that nearly all of the email programs did that these days,
including the text-based ones. Linewrapping at fixed column sizes
also looks very ragged when viewed with proportional fonts.

> Further, Anthony W. Youngman isn't the only debian-legal contributor
> to think Larry Rosen's interpretations should not be taken wholesale,
> nor the only one who can't give full citations because those
> impressions were formed by interactions as much as literature.  I'm
> another and I'm pretty sure there are others.

Eternal September. I've never posted here before, and I'll be
unsubscribing soon, once this thread is over. They did not come
up in my searches for more information about this topic.

> So people who were persuaded to buy the book were persuaded by the book
> - is that surprising for this type of book?

Pardon? One isn't required to purchase an item via Amazon before one
can comment on said item, at least to my understanding. I believe
one could get the book from the library and also comment on Amazon.
Or read parts of it online and gratis, as I did.

> Also, remember that Amazon ...

It seemed an appropriate source to try to understand if the views of
Youngman were singular, rare, or widely espoused. It wasn't my only
information source used to construct my reply, and I gave references
to those other sources, including two letters by Stallman defending
Rosen from more egregious statements made by reviewers of Rosen's

In one of them Stallman does point out that Rosen's criticism
did not hold up in court, but that is the only criticism I could
find regarding the book that I could find from a freedom perspective.

Again, I was not thorough. Given that the response came so quickly
I would assume it's a matter of a few moments to point to something
definite, and that my details responses would indicate that it's
not a trivially found and widely expressed idea.

> It scores 3.8 our of 5 on http://www.librarything.com/work/72601
> (compared to 4.17 for Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of
> Richard M. Stallman http://www.librarything.com/work/179957 which
> I think is the highest-rated book in the cluster: read them yet?)

I had never heard of librarything before this. I will have to look at
it some more.

I have not read that collection of essays by Stallman. The point I was
researching was in regards to Youngman's comment

   I'm always wary of explicitly relicencing. The GPL doesn't
   permit it, and by doing so you are taking away user rights.

Searching Stallman's book now I see that "relicense" is not mentioned
and "sublicense" is only mentioned as parts of the quoted GNU
licenses. It provides no extra information to this topic.

I still hold that Youngman is wrong in saying that relicensing takes
away user rights, as a universal statement. The best counter example
is the GFDL->Creative Commons relicensing, when the original GFDL's
license grant is essentially identical to the GPLs. He urged me to
"Read what the GPL says, CAREFULLY", but I see nothing in GPLv2 which
prevents the addition of a relicensing clause of the kind which
occurred with GFDL.

Rosen's book, on the other hand, did specifically discuss the need for
sublicensing and relicensing, and helped me understand some of the
changes that went into GPLv3. As well, it helped me understand some
of the nuances between the BSD and MIT licenses.

> As far as I recall (I read it too long ago), the book was partly a
> sales pitch for Rosen's licences

I did not notice anything in the chapters I read which mentioned any
of his licenses. I did not read the entire book. Nor do I know of the
5-point definition of which you also spoke. It may have occurred
after he published the book.

> it
> should be immediately obvious that that book is probably going to have
> an inflammatory perspective.  Its title is "Open Source Licensing:
> Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law" which manages to
> squeeze two of http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html into
> one book title.

Indeed, I did notice that. As a quibble point, the book covers the
original Artistic License, and GNU says that the Artistic License is
not a free license. Had the title been "Free Software Licensing" then
it would not have been able to do so. I suppose it could have included
a "*" and a note "(plus an extra open source license)". There's also
the doctrinaire point that Debian considers the Artistic License to
be free, in opposition to GNU.

> Hope that illuminates,

Mostly showing my newbie Eternal September aspect. It reveals
that I do not know the people behind this topic.

In the other direction, pointers to existing documents help me better
than statements which, based on my limited but non-trivial research,
are not defensible.  I provided the documentary details to show how I
drew my conclusions, and I prefer responses like yours which bring up
additional topics which I had not heard of, rather than blunt
statements about my need to do yet more work, or vague and not easily
confirmed statements regarding the character of the people involved.


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